Methods used to identify seafloor spreading magnetic anomalies and to establish their relationship with the top of the basement topography in the Argentine continental margin between 35° S and 48° S

Abraham, D. A.; Ghidella, M. E.; Tassone, A.; Paterlini, M.; Ancarola, M.
Año de la publicación: 
2 013
American Geophysical Union, Spring Meeting 2013, abstract #GP22A-02
This paper discusses some methods for better identification of the spreading seafloor magnetic anomalies in the region between 35° S and 48° S at the outer edge of the continental margin of Argentina. In the area of Rio de la Plata craton and Patagonia Argentina, there is an extensional volcanic passive margin. This segment of the Atlantic continental margin is characterized by the existence of seismic reflectors sequences that lean toward the sea (seaward dipping reflectors - SDRs). These sequences of seismic reflectors, located in the transitional-continental basement wedge, are portrayed in seismic profiles as an interference pattern interpreted as basalt flows intercalated with sedimentary layers, and its origin is ascribed to volcanism occurred during the Early Cretaceous. The magnetic response of SDRs is in the area of the magnetic anomaly G (Rabinowitz and LaBrecque, 1979). Magnetic alignments are highlighted on a map by superimposing total field anomaly semitransparent layer of calculated numerical curvature. This method allows a regional identification of the most prominent alignments. It is convenient to calculate the curvature in the direction perpendicular to the magnetic alignments. The identification of seafloor spreading magnetic anomalies located in the eastern margin helps in the knowledge of the history of the Atlantic Ocean opening. M series magnetic alignments: M5n, M3n M0r (between 132 and 120 Ma) were identified in the analyzed area. The roughness of the top of the oceanic basement presents a contrast of amplitudes, in a wavelength range between about 4 km and 6 km, with the corresponding amplitudes in the area of the transitional crust. This contrast of amplitudes can be detected using spectral methods, especially short Fourier transform. The quantitative evaluation of the spectral energy density allowed the identification of wave numbers characterizing oceanic basement area and thus perform subsequent filtering of the signal with wavelengths found with the spectral method. The top of basement roughness was quantified using the root mean square (RMS), in sections of about 2 km, of residues between the depth of the basement top and first-degree polynomial that best fitted the sections. The spreading seafloor magnetic alignments are on oceanic crust area identified by the point of view of the roughness analysis. The combined use of the methods that we have developed on the magnetic surveys in the study area, allowed us to improve the layout of the magnetic alignments and identify the transition between oceanic and continental crust.